Pregnancy while breastfeeding: what you should know

Dear friends:

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are two of the most significant experiences in a woman’s life. However, what happens when a woman becomes pregnant while still breastfeeding her baby? This phenomenon, known as pregnancy during breastfeeding or lactational pregnancy, raises questions and concerns for many women. In this space, I will discuss in detail what it means to be pregnant while breastfeeding a baby and how it affects both the mother and the nursing infant.

One of the most common questions about pregnancy during breastfeeding is whether it is possible to become pregnant while breastfeeding a baby. Contrary to the popular belief that breastfeeding is a safe contraceptive method, the reality is that it does not offer absolute protection against pregnancy. While exclusive breastfeeding can suppress ovulation in some women due to the production of prolactin (a hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production), it does not do so reliably in all. This means that it is possible to become pregnant during breastfeeding, even before the menstrual cycle returns.

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How does pregnancy during breastfeeding affect the mother and baby?

Once a woman discovers that she is pregnant while still breastfeeding her baby, it is natural to have concerns about how this will affect both her and her children. First, it is important to understand that breastfeeding during pregnancy is generally safe for most women and their babies. However, some women may experience additional discomfort during this time, such as nipple sensitivity (which can be improved with beeswax areola pads MamaceraM) or a decrease in milk production.

A pregnant woman’s body undergoes a series of hormonal and physical changes that can affect her ability to breastfeed. For example, elevated progesterone levels during pregnancy can decrease milk production in some women, leading to a reduction in the amount of milk available for the older baby. Additionally, some women may experience increased nipple sensitivity due to rising hormone levels, making breastfeeding uncomfortable or painful.

On the other hand, some women may find that their milk supply increases during pregnancy, especially in the second trimester. This is because hormonal changes can stimulate milk production. However, it is important to remember that every woman is unique and that the experience of breastfeeding during pregnancy can vary.

As for the older baby, they may notice some changes in the taste of breast milk as the pregnancy progresses. This is because maternal hormones can slightly alter the taste of the milk, but in most cases, this should not affect the continuation of breastfeeding.

Special Considerations in Pregnancy During Breastfeeding

If a woman becomes pregnant while still breastfeeding her baby, it is important to consider some special factors to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and baby. Some of these considerations include:

  1. Consult with a Healthcare Professional: It is crucial to communicate with a doctor or healthcare professional to get specific guidance on how to manage pregnancy during breastfeeding. A doctor can provide personalized information and answer any questions or concerns that may arise.
  2. Self-Care for the Mother: Pregnancy can be a tiring time for many women, especially those already caring for a baby. It is important for the pregnant mother to take time to rest adequately, eat well, and take care of her physical and emotional health.
  3. Support and Communication: Support from friends, family, or breastfeeding support groups or meetings with other moms offered by many midwives can be very helpful during pregnancy while breastfeeding. Talking openly about concerns and challenges with trusted individuals can help relieve stress and provide a strong support network.
  4. Monitoring the Baby’s Growth and Development: During pregnancy, it is important to continue monitoring the older baby’s growth and development to ensure they are receiving enough nutrition and attention. This may involve regular visits to the pediatrician and being attentive to any signs that the baby may need additional care.


Pregnancy during breastfeeding is a unique experience that presents special challenges and concerns for expectant mothers. However, with the right support and timely medical guidance, most women can navigate this period safely and continue providing the best care possible for their children, both the baby on the way and the one already in their arms. It is important to remember that every situation is unique and that the most important thing is to do what is best for the health and well-being of both the mother and the baby.

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